Ginebra seeks to control tempo vs run-and-gun Rain or Shine as quarterfinal series starts
Pierre Henderson-Niles and the Painters tangle with Othyus Jeffers and the Kings. Jaime Campos / Jerome Ascano  

GINEBRA seek to control the tempo, playing deliberate basketball against Rain or Shine squad that thrives on a fast-paced style as they begin their PBA Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinal series on Sunday at the Cuneta Astrodome.

“They are a tough matchup for us because they play at such a heightened pace,” Gin Kings coach Tim Cone said on Saturday.

“We’ll need to keep our discipline and make sure we play our game, not theirs.”

Game One of the best-of-three affair tips off at 5:15 p.m. in a battle between two perennial contenders that have started to hit their stride.

The Gin Kings have won two straight and four of their last five, while the E-Painters are riding the crest of a three-game winning streak as both squads finished the eliminations with seven wins in 11 outings.

The Gin Kings parade undersized do-it-all import in Othyus Jeffers, while local twin towers Greg Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar are tasked to take on burly E-Painters reinforcement Pierre Henderson-Niles.

LA Tenorio has been running the Gin Kings’ offense with aplomb, while JR Quinahan and Jeff Chan have stood at the forefront of the E-Painters’ balanced attack as of late.

While the player matchups are fun to watch, the coaching battle between Cone and ROS counterpart Yeng Guiao also promises to be interesting.

“Coach Yeng is always an incredible challenge,” Cone said. “He is such a fierce competitor and that rubs off on his players.”

The Gin Kings logged their first win of the conference at the expense of the E-Painters, 103-92, in mid-February where underachieving Antonie Wright was still Rain or Shine’s import.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos